Next Time, It's Mine

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Michael Cash

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Jul 29, 2001, 5:08:58 AM7/29/01
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Only the second time in the last four years I've bothered to type up
something and try to pass it off as an essay.

http://www.sunfield.ne.jp/&7Emike/essays/nextmine.htm

Michael Cash

Michael Cash

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Jul 29, 2001, 5:11:07 AM7/29/01
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Glekichi

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Jul 29, 2001, 5:57:14 AM7/29/01
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"Don't give strangers a second thought. If a stranger does you a kindness
but you know you'll never be put in a position to face him, don't give him a
second thought. Take it for granted and march right along."

If everyone had that attitude, Japan would be a truely miserable place to
live.

The reason nobody called was probably due to a fear of having to speak in
english. Probably doesnt make you feel any better though.

Michael Cash

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Jul 29, 2001, 6:47:08 AM7/29/01
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On Sun, 29 Jul 2001 18:57:14 +0900, "Glekichi"
<glekich...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
>"Don't give strangers a second thought. If a stranger does you a kindness
>but you know you'll never be put in a position to face him, don't give him a
>second thought. Take it for granted and march right along."
>
>If everyone had that attitude, Japan would be a truely miserable place to
>live.

Not everybody has that attitude, but plenty do.

And in case you hadn't noticed....this ain't exactly paradise.


>
>The reason nobody called was probably due to a fear of having to speak in
>english. Probably doesnt make you feel any better though.
>

I entered that very strong possibility into my consideration and still
came up with the conclusion that it is inexcusable.


Next time, I take the 10%.

I'm sorely tempted to say that the next time I'll just take ALL the
money and mail the remaining contents back to them in a plain brown
envelope.

Michael Cash

marc

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Jul 29, 2001, 11:54:22 PM7/29/01
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"Glekichi" <glekich...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:9k0mos$l6s$1...@news511.nifty.com...

No I think Mike's experience is pretty normal. And in any case you can see
many examples of the same thing all over Japan. It does not make Japan a
miserable place to live, just a different place to live. There is plenty of
human kindness, but it is reserved for friends, family and colleagues. The
other side of the coin is that loyalties among friends, family and
colleagues are stronger in Japan than say in the U.S., where we tend to
practice promiscuous friendliness.

I used to sum it up by saying that there are two kinds of cultures in the
world; those where you flush the urinal after you use it and those where you
flush the urinal before you use it. If you have spent any amount of time
hanging out in men's rooms in Japan (I won't ask) you know which one Japan
is. (In Italy they don't flush the urinals at all, but that's another story)

But to Mike I must say, "true virtue goes unrewarded".

-Marc


Michael Cash

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Jul 30, 2001, 8:31:43 AM7/30/01
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On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 03:54:22 GMT, "marc" <spam...@eatthis.com> wrote:


>But to Mike I must say, "true virtue goes unrewarded".
>

Not next time it don't, goddammit. Next time it sticks its hand out
and takes what it has coming. Unless the wallet belongs to a foreigner
and I can reasonably expect the common courtesy of a simple "thank
you", that is.


Michael Cash

Glekichi

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Jul 30, 2001, 12:07:49 PM7/30/01
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"Michael Cash" <mike...@sunfield.ne.jp> wrote in message
news:irkamtki6v83pkraq...@4ax.com...
you're still going to give the wallet back though... right?


>
> Michael Cash

Bryan Parker

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Jul 30, 2001, 12:30:10 PM7/30/01
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On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 21:31:43 +0900, Michael Cash <mike...@sunfield.ne.jp>
wrote:

>On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 03:54:22 GMT, "marc" <spam...@eatthis.com> wrote:

Did you ever plan on sending me any reward money for returning your wallet?

Before anyone asks... No, I didn't pick-pocket it, and yes, this is a true
story. Mike lost his wallet while taking a shit one day and I found it for
him while doing the same thing a little while later. I found the paperwork
in this case to be a lot easier than what Mike has mentioned in other
posts.


--
Bryan
""Do onto other's as you would have others do on to you"" -jeffrey s.
macdonald A.K.A. AlasakaMac1

Jim Smiley

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Jul 30, 2001, 12:36:41 PM7/30/01
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"marc"

"true virtue goes unrewarded".

Nice turn on the old phrase, Marc,
"Virtue is its own reward"

I read Mike's essay and I could empathise with his experiences.
But, come off it, Mike, what are you playing at? If I am mistaken,
I think your only complaint is that people say Japan is a land
of polite people but you know otherwise. And you can prove
so.

When I first came here, five years ago, an acquaintance left his
walkman and his wallet on the train. He never expected ever to
see them again but he did. Still, there wasn't a note with it. So
he couldn't thank the finder directly.

There is the possibility that the police who handed over the
found items didn't pass on the thanks from the owner. Now, Mike,
there are a lot of issues here, but the insensitivity of the Japanese
isn't one of them, possibly.

Jim


mc

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Jul 30, 2001, 1:01:45 PM7/30/01
to

Are you sure that the wallet's owner is always given information as
to who the good samaritan was?

It'd be pretty ironic if the 5th time this happens, it's really a
candid camera episode and you'll be paraded out as proof
of a dishonest gaijin when you fail to return the wallet!

mc

Michael Cash

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Jul 30, 2001, 4:25:29 PM7/30/01
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On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 16:36:41 GMT, "Jim Smiley"
<07140...@jcom.home.ne.jp> wrote:


>
>I read Mike's essay and I could empathise with his experiences.
>But, come off it, Mike, what are you playing at? If I am mistaken,
>I think your only complaint is that people say Japan is a land
>of polite people but you know otherwise. And you can prove
>so.

I'm just pointing out what Rev. Ed and S. Ramesh (former coworker)
pointed out: the Japanese are polite in their sock feet.


>
>When I first came here, five years ago, an acquaintance left his
>walkman and his wallet on the train. He never expected ever to
>see them again but he did. Still, there wasn't a note with it. So
>he couldn't thank the finder directly.

Then they must not have been returned to him via the police.


>
>There is the possibility that the police who handed over the
>found items didn't pass on the thanks from the owner. Now, Mike,
>there are a lot of issues here, but the insensitivity of the Japanese
>isn't one of them, possibly.
>

Not possible. Like I said, I've been through the process before. My
name, phone number, and address are all available. All written on the
paperwork. How do you think the Chinese gentleman knew how to contact
me?

Afraid I can't speak Japanese? I think "thank you" is well within the
capabilities of almost anyone, and that putting out 50 yen or so for a
postcard to write it on wouldn't be too much to ask of someone who has
just been saved from their own momentary carelessness.

I waited a week, and then called the police to ask if the wallet had
been picked up. The lady at the police station said the owner had come
right away and wanted to know if I had heard from the owner. She said
it is standard practice to remind the person to call and thank the
person who went to the trouble of turning their stuff in. It is a sad
indictment of the society that they feel a need to actually have to
*tell* people to do that. A further sad indictment that it is
justified. An even sadder indictment that people ignore it.


--

Michael Cash


"No, Mr. Cash, I never said I wish you'd go to hell.
I said I wish to hell you'd go."

Prof. Ernest T. Bass
Mount Pilot College

Michael Cash

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Jul 30, 2001, 4:25:30 PM7/30/01
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Absolutely.

I'm only talking about the portion of their money to which I am
entitled under Japanese law.

Michael Cash

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Jul 30, 2001, 4:25:32 PM7/30/01
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On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 16:30:10 GMT, Bryan Parker
<puntspe...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 21:31:43 +0900, Michael Cash <mike...@sunfield.ne.jp>
>wrote:
>
>>On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 03:54:22 GMT, "marc" <spam...@eatthis.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>But to Mike I must say, "true virtue goes unrewarded".
>>>
>>
>>Not next time it don't, goddammit. Next time it sticks its hand out
>>and takes what it has coming. Unless the wallet belongs to a foreigner
>>and I can reasonably expect the common courtesy of a simple "thank
>>you", that is.
>
>Did you ever plan on sending me any reward money for returning your wallet?

You should have taken it to the police box if you expected reward
money. I seem to recall muttering some words of gratitude, however.

Michael Cash

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Jul 30, 2001, 4:25:33 PM7/30/01
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On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 17:01:45 GMT, nos...@home.com (mc) wrote:

>On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 21:31:43 +0900, Michael Cash
><mike...@sunfield.ne.jp> wrote:
>
>>On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 03:54:22 GMT, "marc" <spam...@eatthis.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>But to Mike I must say, "true virtue goes unrewarded".
>>>
>>
>>Not next time it don't, goddammit. Next time it sticks its hand out
>>and takes what it has coming. Unless the wallet belongs to a foreigner
>>and I can reasonably expect the common courtesy of a simple "thank
>>you", that is.
>
>Are you sure that the wallet's owner is always given information as
>to who the good samaritan was?

Yes, I am positive.

>
>It'd be pretty ironic if the 5th time this happens, it's really a
>candid camera episode and you'll be paraded out as proof
>of a dishonest gaijin when you fail to return the wallet!
>

I'm sorry you misinterpreted my comments to mean that I wouldn't
return the wallet. I would return it, but instead of signing away my
right to the reward money at the police box I would go ahead and bring
the receipt for the item home with me and not hand it over to the
owner until I got what the finder is entitled to under Japanese law.

Since individual Japanese citizens (so far) seem incapable of
expressing thanks to someone who did them a favor when they can easily
avoid it, I just plan on accepting the money as a sort of proxy
thanks.

Hiding From Atsushi

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Jul 30, 2001, 10:12:42 PM7/30/01
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Michael Cash <mike...@sunfield.ne.jp> wrote:
> I waited a week, and then called the police to ask if the wallet had
> been picked up. The lady at the police station said the owner had come
> right away and wanted to know if I had heard from the owner. She said
> it is standard practice to remind the person to call and thank the
> person who went to the trouble of turning their stuff in. It is a sad
> indictment of the society that they feel a need to actually have to
> *tell* people to do that. A further sad indictment that it is
> justified. An even sadder indictment that people ignore it.

Did you consider that the owner of the wallet, upon realizing you were
a foreigner, was not sure about your Japanese abilities and was not sure
about their own English abilities and was simply too frightened to contact
you?

marc

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Jul 30, 2001, 11:23:47 PM7/30/01
to

"Michael Cash" <mike...@sunfield.ne.jp> wrote in message
news:irkamtki6v83pkraq...@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 03:54:22 GMT, "marc" <spam...@eatthis.com> wrote:
>
>
> >But to Mike I must say, "true virtue goes unrewarded".
> >
>
> Not next time it don't, goddammit.
> Next time it sticks its hand out
> and takes what it has coming.

Now I know why they call you Mr. Cash (ha ha get it.... sticks its hand
out --> money --> cash...ha ha )

But if you expect a reward then it is not true virtue, it is just run of the
mill type virtue.

Unless the wallet belongs to a foreigner
> and I can reasonably expect the common courtesy of a simple "thank
> you", that is.

Of course I know what you mean. But again I just have to ask the larger
question. Why do you need to be thanked?


marc

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Jul 30, 2001, 11:31:15 PM7/30/01
to

"Jim Smiley" <07140...@jcom.home.ne.jp> wrote in message
news:t2g97.140$kn....@news1.rdc1.ky.home.ne.jp...

> "marc"
>
> "true virtue goes unrewarded".
>
> Nice turn on the old phrase, Marc,
> "Virtue is its own reward"

yeah..... hey I was going to say that.

> I read Mike's essay and I could empathise with his experiences.
> But, come off it, Mike, what are you playing at? If I am mistaken,
> I think your only complaint is that people say Japan is a land
> of polite people but you know otherwise. And you can prove
> so.
>
> When I first came here, five years ago, an acquaintance left his
> walkman and his wallet on the train. He never expected ever to
> see them again but he did. Still, there wasn't a note with it. So
> he couldn't thank the finder directly.

That's right... I had fogotten that part. I have misplaced at various times
a camera, a wallet, a notebook full of irreplacable lab notes, and my lunch
on the subway in Japan. Umbrellas are another story - they don't count. All
showed up in the lost in found. Actually, I had no interest in the lunch and
I was going to forget about it, but another guy in my lab insisted on
calling it in. Maybe he was hungry. So I was oligated to go down and pick it
up too.

You might not get thanked when you return someone else's wallet, but when it
is your turn you are much more likely to have your own wallet returned,
money intact, then just about any other place in the world.

Almost better than being thanked.


Greg Macdonald

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Jul 31, 2001, 1:24:49 AM7/31/01
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On 31 Jul 2001 11:12:42 +0900, Hiding From Atsushi
<dont_tu...@atsushi.co.jp> spake:

What, they couldn't send a 'thank you' postcard of some type?

I'm intrigued by the whole 'bounty system'.. never heard of anything
like it. In a supposedly honest and polite society, why would you need
to create a system designed to force people to reward those who return
their lost stuff?


()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()
I don't have a solution but I certainly
admire the problem.
-Ashleigh Brilliant
gmacdonald11@NOSPAM home.com

Glekichi

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Jul 31, 2001, 5:20:54 AM7/31/01
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"Michael Cash" <mike...@sunfield.ne.jp> wrote in message
news:18gbmt8tkl3tiqjjv...@4ax.com...

> >you're still going to give the wallet back though... right?
> >
>
> Absolutely.
>
> I'm only talking about the portion of their money to which I am
> entitled under Japanese law.
>

Thats fine, no problems with that at all.

What I meant was about the part of your essay I quoted in the first reply.
There are more and more rude people all the time, I agree.
It is a real shame, but I dont think it is a good idea to join them.

Michael Cash

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Jul 31, 2001, 6:59:01 AM7/31/01
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On 31 Jul 2001 11:12:42 +0900, Hiding From Atsushi
<dont_tu...@atsushi.co.jp> wrote:

Absolutely I considered that. As I mentioned elsewhere in this thread,
I considered it and still found it not to be a sufficient excuse.
"Thank you" on a postcard would have sufficed.

Brett Robson

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Aug 1, 2001, 10:10:14 AM8/1/01
to

Hiding From Atsushi wrote:

>
> Did you consider that the owner of the wallet, upon realizing you were
> a foreigner, was not sure about your Japanese abilities and was not sure
> about their own English abilities and was simply too frightened to contact
> you?

Every Japanese person under, say 55, can write "Thank you" and every
foreigner here understands "arigatou".


--
Brett Robson
Aichi Prefecture, Japan

real address: brettr at newsguy dot com

"If man is 5, and the devil is 6, that makes me 7.
This heartbeat is going to heaven."

Moonstroke

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Aug 2, 2001, 5:29:45 PM8/2/01
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"marc" spam...@eatthis.com wrote:

>You might not get thanked when you return someone else's wallet, but when it
>is your turn you are much more likely to have your own wallet returned,
>money intact, then just about any other place in the world.

Some investigative work by Reader's Digest suggests you'd be better off in
Scandanavia and little better off than in the U.S.:

Earlier this year Reader's Digest "lost" 1100 wallets in cities around the
world. Each contained up to $50 in local currency, but also a name and phone
number so that the finder would have no trouble returning the billfold --
presuming the finder wanted to return it.

The wallets were left on sidewalks, in phone booths, in front of buildings,
discount stores, churches, restaurants, etc.

All told, 44% of the wallets were never returned. Here's ther percentage of
wallets returned by country or region:

Norway 100%
Denmark 100%
Singapore 90%
New Zealand 83%
Finland 80%
Scotland 80%
Australia 70%
Netherlands 70%
Japan 70%
South Korea 70%
Spain 70%
Austria 70%
Sweden 70%
U.S. 67%
England 67%
India 65%
Canada 64%
France 60%
Brazil 60%
Thailand 55%
Belgium 50%
Taiwan 50%
Malaysia 50%
Germany 45%
Portugal 45%
Argentina 44%
Russia 43%
Philippines 40%
Wales 40%
Italy 35%
Switzerland 35%
China (Hong Kong): 30%
Mexico 21%

RD published this earlier this year (Feb. or March, I think). When I first
posted the findings [2001-03-16; thread title : "Re: Finders Keepers (was: I
lost my cell phone)"] I gave a link but it has long since expired.

When I posted this info previously I was unaware of the legal claim a finder
has on a percentaged of the loot in Japan.

m-stroke

marc

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Aug 3, 2001, 9:34:27 AM8/3/01
to
I am surprised by this, having heard so many stories about how honest people
in Japan are about this stuff. Even my Dad had one; he was in the Korean War
and went to Japan for a few days sightseeing. Lost his wallet in Kyoto, and
said some elderly man followed him for several miles to return it.

Next time I lose my wallet, I will make sure I am in Norway.

"Moonstroke" <moons...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20010802172945...@ng-fa1.aol.com...

Moonstroke

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Aug 3, 2001, 11:02:15 AM8/3/01
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"marc" spam...@eatthis.com wrote:

>I am surprised by this, having heard so many stories about how honest people
>in Japan are about this stuff. Even my Dad had one; he was in the Korean War
>and went to Japan for a few days sightseeing. Lost his wallet in Kyoto, and
>said some elderly man followed him for several miles to return it.

Well, it's not the final word on the subject. RD is not a peer reviewed
anthropolical journal or anything but their quick and dirty study is probably
as close to empirical data as we're likely to find.

>Next time I lose my wallet, I will make sure I am in Norway.

Hah, you and me both.

m-stroke

Bryan Parker

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Aug 3, 2001, 12:38:13 PM8/3/01
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On Tue, 31 Jul 2001 05:25:32 +0900, Michael Cash <mike...@sunfield.ne.jp>
wrote:

>On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 16:30:10 GMT, Bryan Parker
><puntspe...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>>On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 21:31:43 +0900, Michael Cash <mike...@sunfield.ne.jp>
>>wrote:
>>
>>>On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 03:54:22 GMT, "marc" <spam...@eatthis.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>But to Mike I must say, "true virtue goes unrewarded".
>>>>
>>>
>>>Not next time it don't, goddammit. Next time it sticks its hand out
>>>and takes what it has coming. Unless the wallet belongs to a foreigner
>>>and I can reasonably expect the common courtesy of a simple "thank
>>>you", that is.
>>
>>Did you ever plan on sending me any reward money for returning your wallet?
>
>You should have taken it to the police box if you expected reward
>money. I seem to recall muttering some words of gratitude, howev

My bust! I think I remember those words now. "Thanks for not stealing all
my money Ass-Wipe. I would've hated to have ruined your party by sticking
an ice pick in your spine."

Michael Cash

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Aug 3, 2001, 8:53:30 PM8/3/01
to
On Fri, 03 Aug 2001 16:38:13 GMT, Bryan Parker
<puntspe...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>On Tue, 31 Jul 2001 05:25:32 +0900, Michael Cash <mike...@sunfield.ne.jp>
>wrote:
>
>>On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 16:30:10 GMT, Bryan Parker
>><puntspe...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>>On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 21:31:43 +0900, Michael Cash <mike...@sunfield.ne.jp>
>>>wrote:
>>>
>>>>On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 03:54:22 GMT, "marc" <spam...@eatthis.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>But to Mike I must say, "true virtue goes unrewarded".
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Not next time it don't, goddammit. Next time it sticks its hand out
>>>>and takes what it has coming. Unless the wallet belongs to a foreigner
>>>>and I can reasonably expect the common courtesy of a simple "thank
>>>>you", that is.
>>>
>>>Did you ever plan on sending me any reward money for returning your wallet?
>>
>>You should have taken it to the police box if you expected reward
>>money. I seem to recall muttering some words of gratitude, howev
>
>My bust! I think I remember those words now. "Thanks for not stealing all
>my money Ass-Wipe. I would've hated to have ruined your party by sticking
>an ice pick in your spine."

Notice I had the presence of mind to not finish my beer after having
once set it down and taken my eyes off it? Mama didn't raise no fools.

jacob...@gmail.com

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Sep 17, 2015, 12:30:38 PM9/17/15
to
On Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 8:54:22 PM UTC-7, marc wrote:
> I used to sum it up by saying that there are two kinds of cultures in the
> world; those where you flush the urinal after you use it and those where you
> flush the urinal before you use it. If you have spent any amount of time
> hanging out in men's rooms in Japan (I won't ask) you know which one Japan
> is.
>
> -Marc

Just wanted to bump this. This quote has stuck with me over the last 14 years. I use it often to explain to people what it was like living there. Thank you Marc for years of enjoyment from this.
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